An Update on my Personal Life

Hi guys (mostly Jess). It’s been awhile since I last posted an update, but it has been a trying time in my personal life. Blogging wasn’t cutting it as the fluffy escapism it typically serves as for me, and I just took some time to do absolutely nothing. I mean, I literally have been doing nothing productive outside of work – I’ve  been reading a little, but not enough, and I’ve been avoiding going to the YMCA even though I’ve been paying for it since February (I’ve been once).

There have been quite a few things going on, but the most currently pressing is that James & I broke up. We started seeing each other here and there in March of 2013, and three weeks ago we realized, tearfully but amicably, that we had different dreams, different goals, and our lives were ultimately going to move in different directions.

I’ll be honest – it has been really, really shitty. For years now I’ve seen myself as a jaded person when it comes to relationships. I’d been there, done that, and knew I could be logical if James & I did end up leading different lives. In reality, it’s not that easy. I wish there were a “villain” in the situation so that I could have something to be furious about, but there isn’t. We love each other, but we have to move on and do our own things.

It blows.

Moving On

I surely don’t have any hot tips about how to get over a break up. I’ve been avoiding sad music and sad movies. That’s already a step forward – in college I would wallow for eons. I’ve been trying to keep busy with my friends and my family, some of which you can see in the pictures I added to the beginning of this post. My sisters and I took Mom to Dollywood for Mother’s Day, and in 10 days my family & Jess (and other friends!) will be heading to Universal Studios for a week. I’m keeping busy with work, snuggling Sansa a lot, and eating more take out than I should.

I feel like I should be over this by now. Realistically, I know I can’t expect to be over around five years of friendship & partnership in three weeks. I’m sick of the heaviness in my chest and I’m sick of thinking everyone on dating apps is too ugly and too incompatible and too dumb and too shallow to compare (lol). Notice: I don’t actually want to date someone right now, but you know how sometimes those apps are good for a little ego boost when you’re down in the dumps? Yeah, that.

That’s what’s going on in my neck of the woods. Here’s hoping I can get back to light & fluffy ASAP.

What’s On My Wishlist?

As you can see from my newborn baby infant photoshop skills, I’m trying something new! I constantly have a running wishlist – if the website has an option to create one, I’ve done it, and if they don’t, I toss it onto my Amazon wishlist. I wanted to share a few pieces I’m considering – all of which are currently on sale! 

As the weather gets more mild, I want to add more transitional pieces into my wardrobe without fully committing to our Southern heat. It’s a controversial opinion, I know, but I love winter and I’m really not ready to let go and start thinking about Spring. Because of that, I tend toward clothing options I can wear for multiple seasons.

  1. Soft Gold Sandals from Madewell
  2. Tassel Earrings from Baublebar
  3. Embroidered Sweatshirt from The Loft
  4. Embroidered Jeans from Free People
  5. Off-the-Shoulder Top from The Loft
  6.  White Sneakers from Converse

Or check out these alternatives:

February Currently

Rifle Paper Co. Constellations Calendar February 2018

Did January feel like the longest month of all time to anyone else? It’s like a month of highs and lows were covered in a mere 31 days and I did not appreciate it. February is looking up thus far, though considering how wonderful the first week of January was, I won’t be getting my hopes up.

Okay, that was eye-roll-inducingly (not a word) pessimistic.

The only truly negative thing that happened in January is that my car was totaled on the 8th. I wasn’t in the car and everyone involved was completely fine, but it put me in a major funk. Losing the freedom to get where I wanted, when I wanted, and the financial strain, and just overall losing a car I had only owned for a year and a half made me feel extremely discouraged for, like, two weeks straight. Maybe three.

I have rallied since, though, and not just because insurance was finally straightened out and I’ll have a new car again THIS WEEK, but because January had a lot of good:

  • I was moved onto a new client at work, which has reignited my motivation and snapped me out of professional burnout.
  • My baby sister, Gwyn, came to Nashville multiple times just to hang out with Em & me.
  • I lost 10 lbs, and while I know diet culture is an evil hellscape I am feeling more confident in my body now that I’m trying to consciously make healthier choices.
  • I reconnected with my closest childhood friends at a wedding & even though everything has changed in each of our lives, we’re still dumb, goofy youth group kids.


Books: Have you ever been reading a book you knew was going to have a romantic element but then BAM!, surprise, it’s straight-up erotica? That was a little adventure I took in January with Acclamation by Vee Hoffman. I’ve moved back into my typical genre now with Emma in the Night, a psychological thriller about two sisters.

Movies: I’ve been utilizing the heck out of my Moviepass. My favorite movie from January was I, Tonya – I was raised to be a steadfast Nancy Kerrigan fan, but Margot Robbie is an absolute dream and I was engrossed from beginning to end. Another favorite (which I just saw during the first week of February) was Molly’s Game; I went into the theater knowing absolutely nothing about the movie other than Jessica Chastain was in it and I totally loved it. 10/10 recommend.

Television: I may or may not have wiled away an unfortunate amount of January’s hours watching early seasons of America’s Next Top Model, but I also finally got around to watching The Punisher. I’ve overall loved Netflix’s Marvel series, but Iron Fist was worthless and The Defenders was, in my opinion, mediocre at best, so it was truly a relief for The Punisher to be interesting & engaging & – imo – on par with the first seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.

Clothes: During the Superbowl, I spent some time getting measured for my actual bra size. Yes, really. My friends and I used data from the A Bra That Fits subreddit and I went from a 36B/34C to a 36DDD/34G. I had major sticker shock and “knew” there was no way in hell those bras would fit me – however, I bought a couple cheap ones from Nordstrom Rack and lo & behold, they fit and they fit well.

Music: I am still listening to a lot of Lorde & Troye Sivan but now I’ve added in some Shura, Hayley Kiyoko, Dua Lipa, Foxes, and other generally embarrassing-to-my-18-year-old-self pop music. This playlist is a pretty solid representation of what I’m listening to. Sad music just isn’t doing it for me lately!

Local: I visited East Nashville Beer Works for my friend Rachel’s birthday in December and I’ve been back once or twice a week ever since. Oops. The beer is wonderful, the pizza is wonderful, and they have darts and mini fire pits and board games. It’s a laid-back place to grab dinner & drinks and I think it’s a little out of the way for tourists to target.

Happy February!

Palette A Week: Colourpop Element of Surprise

I mentioned on my instagram that this year I want to focus more on actively using the products that I have rather than coveting every new release. One way I am trying to encourage this habit is by doing a “Palette a Week” challenge. Every week (or, you know, as I get around to it) I’m going to choose a different palette in my collection to focus on. I decided to kick off this challenge with the Colourpop Element of Surprise palette. I found the color combination compelling and it was a fun way to get started.  My only rule is that I need to create five separate looks with my Palette-a-Week palette before moving on.


Colourpop Element of Surprise – Swatches

Feels: A sparkling white-pink shadow. I hate how impossible to see it is in these swatches because I was so happy with Feels as an inner corner highlight.

Late Night: Classic warm copper metallic shadow. It’s rich and buttery and beautiful, but not a unique shade and it’s easy to replicate.

Silk Street: A matte dark berry shade, which Colourpop labels as a purple-fuchsia. It was one of the more dry shadows in the palette, but I still enjoyed using it in my outer corner and as an under-eye liner.

Rayon: Colourpop calls this “metallic dark coral”. This shade is much more interesting than it looks swatched. Here, it essentially looks like Late Night (imo), but in person there are blue-green sparkles that catch the light and show up well on the eye.

Go With the Flow: This is a creamy peach shadow that was a little powdery but applies well with little/no fallout. She’s smooth & silky. I wish Colourpop would offer Go With the Flow as a single because it’s so functional.

Subdue: A pretty lavender shadow with icy blue sparkles. Subdue is a little sheer when applied dry, but it’s really stunning if you apply with a damp brush or use some type of glitter primer.

Opulent: This bright, satin fuchsia is the visual standout of the palette. Thankfully, it’s every bit as pigmented and easy to work with as I hoped it’d be!

Labyrinth: This is a muted, dusty (the shade, not the texture), victorian rose matte pink shade. I adore it.  It’s beautifully pigmented & blends out effortlessly.

Blank Canvas: Less purple and more deep red than than Silk Street, Blank Canvas is a smooth, blendable maroon. It’s a workable dupe for the popular “Love Letter” shadow from Anastasia.

Sea Stars: love Sea Stars – I actually already owned a single of it before purchasing this palette. I feel like it’s a much more yellow-toned brown (almost a mustard) than it looks in any of its online listings.

Details: This is the one shadow in the palette that I don’t care for and I don’t imagine it getting much use. For me, the darkest shades are typically the ones I never touch. There is a pink sparkle added to the matte chocolate brown base, but as you can tell from my swatch the sparkle doesn’t translate well to your skin.

Peace of Mind: A pearly metallic red-burgundy. Peace of Mind is creamy and full-coverage and is a perfect darker non-matte shadow to round out the palette.

Final Thoughts?

I am consistently impressed with Colourpop’s ability to create quality products for such a low cost. I appreciate that their products aren’t good “for the price”, they’re just good. The Colourpop Element of Surprise has only one semi-dud shadow and is otherwise gorgeous, different from the slew of other warm-toned palettes on the market, and is easy to use. There are enough neutral shades to stay reserved and enough fun pops of color to keep things interesting.

I think this would be a great addition to anyone’s collection. It’s a budget buy that’s excellent quality and functional for both day & night looks.

Here’s hoping that all of my weekly Palette a Week attempts will turn out so well! 😉


How I Organize My Skincare & Makeup

I live in a duplex with multiple roommates, so while it’s beautiful and in a super convenient part of town, I don’t have a ton of space to spread out my belongings. Since we are renting, I also can’t install shelves or … really do anything useful to the space whatsoever.

To avoid allowing my plethora of products to take over every square inch of counter space, I’ve invested in a lot of acrylic organizers. Just this week I bought the vertical rotating tower you see in the pictures! You can place each shelf exactly where you want it, so there’s room for tall bottles and squat little jars. The top also has dividers, which I mostly use for samples I am currently trying to use up.

I would take photos of my vanity for you to see how I use other organizers, but … well, it’s a disorganized mess IN SPITE of everything, so I’ll have to do that another day.

For my makeup, right now I’m using two of these, this for my liquid lipsticks, this for my bullet lipsticks, one of these for miscellaneous eyeshadow singles (not the best for visibility, I know), and two of these for my eyeshadow palettes – I love these dividers, but I lay them down on the ground so I can stand my palettes up on their side for more space because 1) I have too many palettes and 2) I like to be able to see their packaging more clearly, and I sort them from tallest (or widest) palettes in the back and little quads or travel palettes in the front. Finally … drumroll please … the silliest but definitely the cutest of my organizing tidbits is this little rose gold nugget that holds my beautyblenders!


Saturday Reading List

If you need even more Best Of Beauty 2017 content to get your new year off to a good start, check out Priya’s here.

I loved this post from Into the Gloss about an actual French woman’s beauty regimen.

The Rise & Fall of the Basic Bitch: “In a lot of ways, it’s internalized misogyny given a name. It is the phrase ‘I’m not like other girls,’ packaged as an insult.”

The No-Win Conundrum Of The Golden Globes’ #MeToo Red Carpet

I’m absolutely in love with Greta Garbo’s bedroom. It appeals to my current obsession with rose-hued everything.

If you’ve got some time over the weekend, take a peek at goop’s Detox Shopping Guide. There are some admittedly wonderful products on here, but unfortunately I’m not sure I can say the same about the session with a “kitchen healer”, the colon hydrotherapy, or the coffee enema.

January + New Year, New Me

I mean, I had to say it didn’t I? I actually love January. Sure, it was 7° this week while I was standing outside trying to buy a shuttle pass, and yes my electricity bill is exorbitant after trying to keep my house at a measly 64°, and yes I’m not entirely sure when we will see sunlight again; however, there is a genuine rejuvenation and fresh start after the holiday season ends and I live for it.

4 days into the year and I’m actually keeping up with my resolutions so far (yes, 4 days is pretty good for me). I even resisted Madewell’s 40% off sale-sale this morning, so I guess nothing can stop me now!!

I wanted to share some of my favorite purchases from the past few months – all of them have been serving me extremely well, and though some are pricier than I’d typically go for, I’ve been wearing them heavily so they’ve been earning their keep.

1) Rose Gold Nikes: I love the monochrome and the metallic finish on a casual shoe. Similar pairs here, here, and here.
2) Free People Drapey Thermal Top: I bought two of these, in cream and burgundy, and I would wear them daily if I could. They’re soft & slouchy and long enough to wear with leggings. Similar top here, here, and here (but really the FP Laguna is the best).
3) Free People Teddy Peacoat: THIS IS CURRENTLY MY FAVORITE THING I OWN. It has been freezing in Nashville (seriously, my weather app says it feels like -5° outside) and my teddy coat has been so cozy and warm. I’ve worn it every day since I bought it just before the holidays. They’re a hot commodity right now, but you can still find somewhat similar here, here, and here.
4) Spanx Faux Leather Leggings: I get it. Spending almost $100 on leggings is stupid. I would never have done it if I hadn’t tried the stupid things on on a whim. Unfortunately, they’re so worth the price tag – I have never felt better in a pair of leggings, and especially in a pair of pleather-finish leggings. They suck me in and smooth out every tiny smidgen of cellulite. I’m obsessed and wish I had the funds to own fifty pairs. If you’re just looking for some faux leather leggings (without the ridiculous price tag) check out these, these, or these!
5) Sam Edelman Statement Loafers: My beautiful sparkly embroidered babies. They felt like butter the first time I put them on and I love when they catch the light. Other fun & more affordable options are here, here, and here.
6) Free People Chunky Cardigan: This cardigan was on my wishlist for months before I pulled the plug, and during a Nordstrom sale I finally went for it. I wear it constantly, around the house over pajamas and out and about when it’s above freezing temps. It’s a cozy cocoon. Other oversized cardis with a similar vibe can be found here, here, and here.

I’m currently on a no-buy for January when it comes to clothes (and makeup) but considering the fact that my uniform has been the sneakers, leggings, thermal, and slouchy cardigan for a month straight, I think I’ll manage.